Skip to content

France-Qatar dinner: Delight, three-star menu…behind the pomp lies the shadow of diplomatic negotiations

Kylian Mbappe is one of the first to appear in the courtyard of the Elysee Palace. The France star wears a burgundy tie in the Qatari colors. He walks onto the red carpet as the Republican Guard plays a cheerful tune. It’s not yet 8pm on Tuesday night and the state dinner in honor of Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani is about to begin. In total, more than 120 individuals were invited. Qatari ministers are present there, as are their French colleagues (Gérald Darmanin, Rachida Dati, etc.). Gabriel Attal comes straight from an agricultural exhibition.

In the palace banquet hall there are great captains of industry, Frenchmen with connections to the Arab world (Jec Lang, Jean-Yves Le Drian) or chef Alain Ducasse sitting next to a Parisian goalscorer. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy and his friend Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of PSG, sit next to Brigitte Macron at the head table. The menu was created by three-star Christian Le Sker: first, grilled white asparagus, caviar for an appetizer. Then blue lobster from Brittany, truffled butter, accompanied by fingerling potatoes from Le Touquet (a city dear to Emmanuel Macron). For dessert, Alpine Beaufort and a sweet treat made from cocoa beans.

Flattering the taste buds is a great classic of diplomacy that should not create any illusions. It’s time for the tough questions… During his toast, Emmanuel Macron welcomes Qatar’s investment pledges of “ten billion euros” by 2030. But also a “convergence” of positions at the level of defense and the “common fight against terrorism.” Qatar plays a central role, sometimes denounced by its opponents as ambivalent, in discussions in the Middle East.

Hostages: Macron thanks Qatar

“The head of state recalled that he worked hand in hand with the Qataris to free three French hostages,” says one of the participants. Emmanuel Macron thanked them for their help in freeing other French citizens. He also called for preserving the population of Gaza. And he convinced that the future of this region requires the creation of two states: Palestinian and Israeli.” The emir speaks out, claiming that France is a “friendly country,” “not a partner.” He then laments the lack of international consensus on a political solution to the conflict. Before finishing his speech with a few words in France, the emir speaks French.

“This was a very important moment in the relationship between our two countries, with billions of euros of investment at stake, it is crucial for our trade balance. When disagreements arise, we talk about it to each other, but we must continue to share and cooperate,” said Christophe Naegelin, an independent Lyot MP and president of the France-Qatar friendship group, as he left.

At the end of the dinner, Kylian Mbappé, Brigitte Macron and the Emir of Qatar stand on the sidelines chatting. “Good luck,” the latter whispered to him at the beginning of the evening in the footage captured by cameras. A reference, perhaps, to the upcoming departure of the PSG star. Emmanuel Macron didn’t make any hints about this departure… Just remembered “how great Kylian was in the World Cup final and how much he made France vibrate during the unforgettable final”, according to a witness. At 10:20 p.m., the Republican Guard concludes the event with several pieces of Arabic music as guests head to the steps. The holiday ends. Diplomatic discussions behind the scenes are intensifying as the state visit continues this Wednesday.

Source: Le Parisien

Share this article:
globalhappenings news.jpg
most popular